Hold it Right There

Methods for Stopping a Linear Pneumatic Actuator’s Movement in Mid-stroke

A machine operator defeats a guard and reaches his hand into a machine to reset a part in a nest, but misjudges the speed of the press. Does the pneumatic actuator driving the tooling cause a serious injury or were other steps taken to stop the actuator in time?  As you can imagine stopping and holding a pneumatic actuator in mid-stroke can be an important design feature. Applications examples include positioning a part in more than one location, preventing a machine crash in the event of a fault, or including a redundant safety function in a machine.

If you are unfamiliar with the methods, functional considerations, performance, or safety aspects of stopping and holding a linear pneumatic actuator in mid stroke, this article can serve as a starting point for making the right decisions based upon realistic performance expectations.